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News from the Hoffmann Foundation Autism charity London - Hoffmann Foundation

Coping with Unforseen Circumstances

Written on 30th June 2015 by Hoffmann Staff

Coping with unforeseen circumstance


  • Traffic Jam: Being stuck in a traffic jam can be a very frustrating thing to put up with. If I had experienced bad traffic using one particular route, then I will try and avoid it next time round. Something that might help is to have a log book to write down the time I was affected. This has meant that I will try to avoid using a car in Central London. In recent years I will only go in cars or buses on weekdays before 8am and after 8pm and on the weekend before 11am and after 8pm. Most of the time I will only go out by train. The thing I find the most stressful are traffic lights (probably the same for everyone), especially when there is only a short interval between green and red. I will often get pessimistic about the traffic in West London and South London, due to having bad experiences. I consider roundabouts far less agitating then traffic lights due to the constant flow of cars (not as stop start). A good way to cope with traffic jams is to mentally plan to see friends or relatives, or think of an excursion you have been on. This then takes my mind away from what is currently making me stressed.


  • Transport delay:  Some people with autism often experience transport anxiety.  In modern society delays are happening more frequently. Defective trains, car accidents, trouble with aeroplanes all increase the time it takes for us to get from A to B. I have noticed more recently that security checks in an airport have become a much longer process with larger queues of people because of the thorough searches. Although this is needed, it is still hard for people with autism to cope with. My main advice would be to always try and travel with a companion when performing longer journeys. Take a survival kit with you consisting of magazines, headphones, books, bottle of water and anything else that will help you pass the time.


  • Change of plan: Change for people with autism can sometimes prompt an anxiety or

panic attack. Having things cancelled at the last minute is one of the main things that can trigger these types of attack. When friends have cancelled at the last minute I find it very difficult to cope with because it then interferes with the day I had planned. The best way to deal with these scenarios is by having a plan B for every occasion. The difficult change is when somebody is looking forward to the event they have planned. This can then lead to the person feeling down and frustrated which can quite often take a long time to get over. People with Autism need to have a timetable plan because it helps them calm their challenging behaviour.


  • Technology being uncooperative: Although computers have become a major part of our lives, they have also become one of the most stressful parts. Whether this is due to slow/non-existent internet, programmes crashing expectantly, viruses, pop-ups and other things. The best way I have found to cope and keep me calm is by taking a short walk or time out, these are both good ideas because they are a safe way to cope.







By Oliver Chan

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